Mentoring for Mars Student Imaging Project


Mentoring for Mars Student Imaging Project

Mars Student Imaging Program is a collaborative program serving families of Kyrene del Cielo Elementary School involving NASA's Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP), SAGANet of Blue Marble Space, and The Discovery Room of Blue Marble Space.



Our goal is to use MSIP to provide elementary students and their families the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a member of the scientific community, and to gain exposure to science professionals and ideas that they might never otherwise encounter, even with the best of formal education.



Unlike the usual implementation of the Mars Student Imaging Program, there are no curricular objectives that need to be met. As such, all learning objectives are informal. We potentially will have student participants from a variety of grade levels, K-5, but we are aiming to attract 8 families who have at least one 4th or 5th grader.  

Given our motivation and the nature of the program, we have 3 objectives:

1. Students and their families will have an authentic science experience. Most of the time the scientific method isn’t the linear process they learn about formally.  Rather it is

  • Iterative - where you begin and “end” in the process is not the linear strand with a start and endpoint that is taught in school
  • Collaborative – a community effort, no one works alone to get “the right answer”
  • Supported and supportive – it builds on previous work and is the underpinning for future work.


2. Students and their families will understand the difference between a primary and secondary source of scientific information.

  • How scientists get information is different from how most people do: i.e. primary sources vs. secondary source information,
  • A scientist will not use information from  “Discover Magazine” or a newspaper article to support their conclusions or arguments. They will use data and other published, peer-reviewed scientific works.
  • While some upper grade students might be familiar with primary and secondary source differences from their work in social studies, this may be the first time they encounter primary source material and people (SAGANet mentors) in a scientific context.

3. Students and their families will come away with an appreciation of some reasons why Mars is worth studying.

  • Understanding Mars helps us to understand Earth and vice versa
  • Mars is the next logical stop for human-based exploration


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Latest Activity: Jan 8, 2016

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